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Friday, March 03, 2006

SEX IS DEATH. (Wegenics)

The Michael and Cathryn Borden Memorial Book of the Day.


I came to Carthage, where I found myself in the midst of a hissing cauldron of lusts. I had not yet fallen in love, but I was in love with the idea of it, and this feeling that something was missing made me despise myself for not being more anxious to satisfy the need. I began to look around for some object for my love, since I badly wanted to love something. —St. Augustine, Confessions



Better for All the World : The Secret History of Forced Sterilization and America's Quest for Racial Purity by Harry Bruinius

Mr. Bruinius' book sounds like a chronicle of ignorant protestantism and one of its logical conclusions. Ain't it funny how faithful Catholics don't get mixed up in this sort of horror?

Honestly, I have never, ever been tempted to treat my fellow humans like racehorses.

Here's a review by Christine Rosen of Opinion Journal.

Ms. Rosen is a fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center and author of "Preaching Eugenics: Religious Leaders and the American Eugenics Movement" (Oxford, 2004).


In 1927, physicians at the Virginia Colony for Epileptics and Feebleminded in Lynchburg sterilized a young woman named Carrie Buck. Although doctors at state institutions across the country had performed sterilizations before, Carrie's case was unusual. Her sterilization had received the imprimatur of the U.S. Supreme Court. In Buck v. Bell, the court upheld the state of Virginia's right to sterilize, forcibly, so-called feeble-minded individuals. "It is better for all the world," Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. wrote for the majority, "if instead of waiting to execute degenerate offspring for crime, or to let them starve for their imbecility, society can prevent those who are manifestly unfit from continuing their kind." Holmes concluded: "Three generations of imbeciles are enough."

Ahhh...the smell of endarkened liberal "thinking". It smells like...brimstone!

I am happy to report Justice Holmes now knows who the real imbecile is.

Harry Bruinius takes the title of his book about eugenics, "Better for All the World," from Holmes's now notorious opinion. Eugenics, a term coined by British scientist Francis Galton in 1883, means "good in birth"; (Ironic, no? - F.G.) its adherents hoped to improve the human race through better breeding. The notion proved particularly appealing to Americans in the early 20th century, as they confronted waves of immigrants from southern and eastern Europe and fretted about the "purity" of the native Anglo-Saxon American population.

Many states passed marriage-restriction laws, barring the feeble-minded and epileptic from obtaining marriage licenses, and laws requiring the compulsory sterilization of the feeble-minded residing in state institutions. State fairs even featured "fitter families" contests, where judges assessed each competing family's eugenic merit. In 1924, Congress passed an immigration-restriction law based on eugenic principles, assuming that certain national groups possessed better "germplasm"--or heritable traits--than others. Progressive politicians, intellectuals and religious leaders supported eugenics, seeing in it an enlightened, scientific attempt to cure humanity's ills.

Ha! "Progressive". As St. Augustine said, he was looking for an object of his love. Is it difficult to believe people with disordered beliefs could so fall in love with an imagined "ideal" of humanity that they can justify the most horrific of crimes against real live humans?

Nazis among us, indeed.

It was an important episode in American history--ending only when a combination of economic depression, the horrors of Nazi genocide and the discoveries of genetic science proved the hollowness and danger of eugenic pseudo-science. But it is not an unknown one. Mr. Bruinius's subtitle--"The Secret History of Forced Sterilization and America's Quest for Racial Purity"--is misleading: There is no secret. Decades of work by scholars such as Daniel Kevles, Philip Reilly, Edward Larson and Diana Paul have produced thorough studies on the subject. Nor is their work inaccessible to the general reader. Parts of Mr. Kevles's book first appeared as a series of articles in The New Yorker.

Actually it is a secret. America's genetic nazis have been covering it up for years. See Margaret Sanger and Planned Babykilling.

Mr. Bruinius's intention is to humanize the story of eugenics by exploring the "age-old passions and human desires" behind the movement. He offers portraits of men like Aubrey Strode, a progressive-minded state senator from Virginia who sponsored the sterilization law that was eventually upheld by the Supreme Court; Charles Davenport, a biologist who notably secured funds from Mrs. E.H. Harriman, the widow of the railroad magnate, and from the Carnegie Institution to fund eugenics research in the U.S.; and Harry H. Laughlin, the superintendent of the Eugenics Record Office in Cold Spring Harbor, N.Y., who advised Congress during debate over the 1924 Immigration Restriction Act and, as a major supporter of sterilization, assessed Carrie Buck's pedigree and declared her "shiftless, ignorant, and worthless."

Who would have guessed this could happen if you deny the existence of free will while at the same time glorifying the primacy of "conscience"? Why, the Catholic Church, that's who.

Although Mr. Bruinius is a conscientious narrator, he does not always illuminate his subject. He frequently draws parallels between eugenics rhetoric and the Puritan desire to build a "city on a hill," which leads to dubious pronouncements. He declares, for instance, that a popular chronicle of the Jukes family, aimed at showing a genetic tendency toward crime, fed "into a long-held American fear, a prophecy of doom which threatened that if [Americans] did not obey the moral precepts of their God, they would become a story and a byword in the world, and be consumed out of this good land." This is perhaps overstating the matter a bit.

I am going to have to compare Rosen's book to Bruinius' book. I fear Miss or Mrs. (I really hate that ms. thingee.) Rosen may be underestimating the dangers of false religious beliefs.

But mostly Mr. Bruinius takes a personalized approach. He spends considerable time describing Charles Davenport's stern and strictly religious father and Harry Laughlin's energetic, progressive mother, implying that the adult beliefs of both men derived largely from their relations with their parents. A speech by Davenport is said to have been "driven mostly by his own psychological needs and intellectual longings." The book provides many such speculations and many miniature psycho-biographies, but they cast little light on the motivations of eugenicists and do not explain why so many ordinary Americans found the eugenics message appealing.

Try this explanation on for size: Fear and loathing of Catholicism. That is only one manifestation of rebellion against God and his good order. If one rebels against Order, one will naturally find it necessary to create an alternative. Is it really surprising these rebels went from trying to preserve the status quo (where they were dominant) to stopping Catholic immigration, sterilizing "imbeciles", legalizing contraception, mandating contraception, and building baby-toirs in black neighborhoods?

Mr. Bruinius is better at humanizing the victims of eugenic sterilization policies--women like Carrie Buck and countless others who often come across as one-dimensional figures in other histories. Many of these women were told that they were having an appendectomy and never knew that they were being robbed of their ability to have children. Their stories serve as a warning about the abuses a liberal democracy can inflict on its citizens when under the sway of "enlightened" scientific ideas.

True science and The Truth can never be in conflict. They have the same Author. It really is that simple, kiddies.

So the next time someone quoting a "scientist" at you says we're really stand-up apes and therefore there is no such thing as God, simply make the Sign of the Cross (for him and you) and quickly walk in some other direction.

If Mr. Bruinius's book helps to introduce readers to this dark chapter of American history, it will be, whatever its flaws, a useful contribution to the literature of eugenics. The "age-old passions and human desires" for improvement that Mr. Bruinius describes exist in all of us. In a world where new genetic technologies offer even greater opportunities for shaping human life, it is worth remembering that moral scruples and a respect for human dignity are not as widely shared.

Amen to that, Sister Rosen. May God have mercy on all souls, especially those with the power to inflict their defective wills on others.


Part 1: SEX IS DEATH. (Stories for Boys) is here.
Part 2: SEX IS DEATH. (Distaff Death) is
here.
Part 3: SEX IS DEATH. (Joyously dispensing death) is
here.
Part 4: SEX IS DEATH. (Sex is depression) is
here.
Part 5: SEX IS DEATH. (When self-pleasuring becomes self-destruction) is
here.
Part 6: SEX IS DEATH. (Sex is theft) is
here.
Part 7: SEX IS DEATH. (A review of Bareback Mountain) is
here.
Part 8: SEX IS DEATH. (What is the ultimate penalty?) is
here.
Part 9: SEX IS DEATH. (Haven from reality) is
here.
Part 10: SEX IS DEATH. (Sin-redemption-reasons-reason) is
here.
Part 11: SEX IS DEATH. (Mommy loves you) is
here.
Part 12: SEX IS DEATH. (George Gilder offers a clue) is
here.
Part 13: SEX IS DEATH. (Post-killem depression) is
here.
Part 14: SEX IS DEATH. (Whither womanhood) is
here.
Part 15: SEX IS DEATH. (Saving psychology 1) i
s
here.
Part 16: SEX IS DEATH. (Saving psychology 2) is
here.
Part 17: SEX IS DEATH. (Fear of the boomers) is
here.
Part 18: SEX IS DEATH. (The battle continues apace) is
here.
Part 19: SEX IS DEATH. (Hot for teacher) is
here.
Part 20: SEX IS DEATH. (Kids do the darndest things) is
here.
Part 21: SEX IS DEATH. (Defects) is
here.
Part 22: SEX IS DEATH. (Privates' privacy) is
here.
Part 23: SEX IS DEATH. (National Condom Week) is
here
.

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About Me

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First of all, the word is SEX, not GENDER. If you are ever tempted to use the word GENDER, don't. The word is SEX! SEX! SEX! SEX! For example: "My sex is male." is correct. "My gender is male." means nothing. Look it up. What kind of sick neo-Puritan nonsense is this? Idiot left-fascists, get your blood-soaked paws off the English language. Hence I am choosing "male" under protest.

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